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Summer Travel Tips from Our Friends at Lifeway Women

June 1st, 2016 Posted in Lifestyle

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Between events across the country, Bible study tapings around the world, and much-needed vacation, the LifeWay Women team is on-the-go all year long. Since many of you are planning summer trips, we want to share our favorite travel secrets before you hit the road (or sky).

Planning Your Trip

  1. I use private browsing when searching for flights to ensure I get the best rate no matter how many times I look online for the same flight. —Larissa Roach
  2. This is an excellent, thorough checklist to use before leaving the country or being away for a while. —Larissa Roach
  3. Take advantage of having friends who live in fun cities—go for a visit! Stay for free and spend time with someone you don’t get to see face-to-face very often. —Elizabeth Hyndman
  4. Make a schedule so the family will know in advance what to expect each day.  This will cut down on a lot of questions and frustrations.  It will also involve your family in the planning. —Terri Atkins
  5. Before booking hotels, check into the local AirBNB scene. On a recent trip to Iceland, my friends and I were able to sleep in adorable houses with scenic vistas for less than the price of a hostel. —Elizabeth Hudson
  6. Plan loosely. Nothing sucks the joy out of a vacation faster than overly structured plans. Be spontaneous—you never know what you’ll stumble upon. —Elizabeth Hudson
  7. Be sure to stop papers and mail or ask a neighbor to gather these for you. —Chris Adams
  8. Leave contact and travel info with someone in your family. It never hurts to prepare for emergencies. —Chris Adams

Packing Your Suitcase

  1. Always make a packing list. It takes all the stress out of packing. Also make a packing list for each child who is old enough. It gives them some control & excitement for the coming trip.  —Terri Atkins
  2. Take with you what makes you comfortable. I used to think I didn’t need all the things I normally use at home. But due to continual travel, I found I do want what helps on the road. One bag stays packed with those things I always take (with duplicate, travel-size versions) for easy packing. Add fresh clothes and shoes and I’m ready to go. —Chris Adams
  3. Because my bag stays packed with duplicate toiletries and makeup, when I run out of something on a trip, I toss the empty container into my dirty clothes bag with my other clothes. That way, when I dump them out at home, I remember to replace that item. —Chris Adams
  4. For a 2 to 3 day trip, I always try to carry my luggage on the plane. This saves lots of time at airports, and you always have what you need. No lost luggage. Since I need a computer bag and my roller bag, I take a small purse that fits into my roller bag so that when I arrive at my destination, I still have a purse. —Chris Adams
  5. After you pack, take a few things out of your suitcase. It sounds funny, but it’s true! I always tend to overpack, and I never end up wearing everything in my suitcase. —Mary Margaret Collingsworth
  6. Use travel-sized bottles and containers for your toiletries. It saves a ton of space and trouble. The Container Store is one of my favorite places to shop for travel goodies. —Mary Margaret Collingsworth
  7. My best discovery was to put lotions, eye cream, face wash, etc. into contact lens cases. It’s the perfect amount for about 5 days and takes up minimal space. —Betsy Langmade
  8. Include an expandable spray bottle in your suitcase.  You can spritz away wrinkles from most fabric in seconds. Just spray, shake, and smooth the fabric. Voila—the wrinkles are gone! You can buy one for under $5 on Amazon. —Betsy Langmade
  9. Forgo the big fluffy beach towel and pack a Turkish beach towel or blanket. It’s the perfect weight and absorbency and won’t take up as much space in your suitcase. —Darilynn Keith
  10. I don’t bother ironing before a trip; I always iron before I wear the outfit while on my trip. Why iron twice? —Tammy Slayton
  11. I wear my bulkiest shoes, put on my heaviest clothing, and layer up on my flight so I have more room in my suitcase.  This also allows me to adjust if I get too cold or too hot on the airplane. —Tammy Slayton
  12. Know what accessories you have to take off at the metal detectors in the airport (like belts and jackets). Just pack them straight into your carry-on bag and put them on after you clear security. —Tammy Slayton
  13. I pretty much always pack a jacket, a pair of jeans, and a swimsuit, no matter my destination or time of year. —Elizabeth Hyndman

Don’t Leave Home Without

  1. I never leave home without my Kindle and an audiobook downloaded to my phone. By using the OverDrive library app, I was able to read or listen to 52 books last year while on the road—all for FREE! —Larissa Roach
  2. Always bring snacks. —Elizabeth Hyndman
  3. Packing high-protein, healthy snacks for international trips has helped me save countless dollars on airport food and quick meals when I’d rather splurge on one big meal a day. Also, saving money on food means I can extend my trip and delay reality just a little bit longer. —Elizabeth Hudson
  4. For airline trips, always have some healthy snacks and water in your bag. You never know what will happen with delays, cancellations, etc. —Betsy Langmade
  5. Headphones—you never know how you might use them. As a parent, they help plug your ears from lots of kid noise or that movie you’ve seen repeatedly on every trip for the last 3 years. You really don’t have to listen to anything. Just close your eyes and everyone in the car thinks you are listening to music or asleep. Note: Don’t do this if you are driving! —Michelle Hicks
  6. Trim your wallet. I like to downsize my wallet to just the essentials. Credit cards, insurance cards, frequent flyer numbers—just the things you’ll really use on the trip. —Betsy Langmade
  7. I never travel without my car mount for my iPhone and car charger. I use my phone for my GPS (Waze is the best app for real time traffic and fastest routes), so having a place to put it while I drive is so much safer than trying to hold it or setting it in my lap—especially in a rental car that’s already unfamiliar. —Darilynn Keith
  8. Keep all of your cell phone accessories readily accessible, you never know when solitaire will drain your battery. External battery power packs are great too. —Tammy Slayton

Enjoying the Journey

  1. Put down your phone and camera on vacation! A waterfall is always more breathtaking through your own eyes than through the lens of your iPhone camera. —Elizabeth Hudson
  2. On a road trip, give everyone in the car 1 hour to play songs from their playlists.  It’s fun to hear everyone’s favorites and sing along. —Betsy Langmade
  3. I always find a Starbuck’s for a pit stop and time to stretch. —Tammy Slayton
  4. Always try to pick a day in the middle of your travels to rest & relax, so often we overbook ourselves and our children while on vacation. —Terri Atkins
  5. On a road trip with family, we call out things we see along the road. Hawk spotting is one of our favorite things. We also stop when we see a farm. We get out and look at the crops along the road and try to identity them. Last year we stopped and picked some cotton. —Leigh Ann Dans
  6. Engage with the locals! Ask them where they would go to have dinner or what their favorite thing is to do in town. You might just make a new Facebook friend in the process. —Larissa Roach

International Travel

  1. Switch out your usual wallet for a larger travel organizer while traveling. It may not be as chic, but you’re not left fumbling for your passport, money, tickets, or even lipstick at any point in the trip. —Elizabeth Hudson
  2. Eat local and weird! Even if it’s not your usual fare, be willing to try a bite of anything at least once. —Elizabeth Hudson
  3. Make multiple copies of your passport and put a copy in each bag you are taking. —Becky Loyd
  4. Always have a set of clothes in your carry on bag. If your luggage gets lost, you never know how long it might be before your luggage finds you again —Becky Loyd
  5. Learn some key phrases in the local language, and try to talk with people. It’s amazing how much you can communicate with just a few simple phrases and vocabulary words. DuoLingo is a great app to help you practice. —Larissa Roach
  6. Download Maps.me and WhatsApp before traveling internationally. Maps.me can be used without cell service or WiFi, which is a life saver when navigating abroad whether on foot or by car. I use WhatsApp to communicate internationally. It’s like texting but over WiFi instead of paying for international cell service. —Larissa Roach
  7. Screenshots are your best friend! Take pictures of all confirmation numbers, addresses, metro maps, and anything else you might need to reference on your phone. You can access photos whether or not you have the Internet, plus this helps you blend in (no bulky maps) and avoid being targeted as a tourist. —Larissa Roach

Traveling with Kids

  1. If you are road tripping, bring an atlas. While this is a throwback for those of us with maps on our phones, it’s great for elementary-aged kids. Let them to help you map the trip and learn how to use an atlas. They can highlight the route and you can ask questions, “What city or town is next?” “Are we near any rivers, lakes, or mountains?” If they ask, “How much longer?” encourage them to check the map and see. Whoever guesses closest to the correct answer wins! —Michelle Hicks
  2. Pack a family travel basket. Fill it with a box of tissues, hand sanitizer, stain remover wipes, chapstick, water bottles, scissors, pens, paper, plastic forks, spoons, knives, yarn or string, hair ties, lotion, and other random things. I’m not sure how you will use some of this, but my family always does! —Michelle Hicks
  3. If the kids have any summer reading to accomplish, I download a couple as audiobooks to play in the car. —Leigh Ann Dans
  4. I usually get a new game or two on the iPad and some new travel coloring books/activity books so that the ride will be fun with new things to occupy the littles. —Amy Lowe
  5. Fun travel games to play with the kids on the drive are always handy. —Amy Lowe
    • Pick a color and spot cars that are that color. Whoever gets to 20 first wins!
    • License plate game. See if you can find all 50 license plates (or some other number you think is attainable).
    • I spy is always a good one. We mix it up by saying, “I spy something that starts with the letter __” instead of colors.

Apps You Need

  1. By using the OverDrive library app, I was able to read or listen to 52 books last year while on the road—all for FREE! —Larissa Roach
  2. Tasting Table has lots of city guides to help you find great restaurants in the area. —Larissa Roach
  3. Tripit gives you up-to-the-minute info on your flight, gate, etc., and sometimes before your airline does. —Paige Greene
  4. Gate-Guru has most major airport maps and lists of food options in each terminal. This is so handy for big airports like O’Hare and Atlanta. —Paige Greene
  5. Yelp is handy for finding coffee and restaurants in an area you are unfamiliar with. Put in the category “new American” for new and different yummy cuisine. —Paige Greene
  6. Waze and Gas Buddy are two great apps for road travel! —Paige Greene
  7. Transit App helps you navigate sometimes confusing subway, train, and bus travel in major metropolitan cities. —Paige Greene
  8. Maps.me allows you to download maps and use on your phone when you are traveling internationally and don’t have phone service or WiFi. —Paige Greene

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